Building great people, because great people build great families and great families build great communities.
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It Is Later Than You Think

Although no one knows the hour nor the day when the Lord will return, the Bible is filled with many indicators or conditions we can use to assess how close we are to His return.

The following are but a few of the signs:
There will be a mixture of believers and false believers within the Church body:
Matthew 13:24-30: Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

There will be scoffers:
The Bible tells us one of the key signs of the end times will be people doubting the return of Christ will ever happen. II Peter 3:3-4: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

Perilous times will come for mankind:
II Timothy 3:1: This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

As it was in the days of Noah (Luke 17:26), so it shall be at the end.
Genesis 6:11: The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

There will be warfare all over the globe:
Mark 13:8: For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:

Deadly diseases will be rampant:
Matthew 24:7: For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

Famines will be common:
Matthew 24:7: For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

Earthquakes will be occurring globally:
Matthew 24:7: For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

There will be violent weather:
Luke 21:25- And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

Mankind will be in a state of moral decay:
II Timothy 3:2-5: For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Religious cults will flourish:
II Peter 2:1: But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

There will be progress made toward a global government:
The European Union, the revived Roman Empire, is alive today and moving steadily toward the fulfillment of this prophecy as seen in Daniel 7: 23: "The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces." The Antichrist who will lead this world government (after the rapture of the Christian Church takes place) will be a leader from the European Union as seen in Daniel 9:26. He will be of the people who destroyed the city of Jerusalem and its sanctuary in AD 70, the Romans.

The world will be desperately seeking peace:
I Thessalonians 5:3: For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

Israel will exist as a nation in the latter days:
Read Ezekiel 37:1-14 to see this prophecy, which was fulfilled in 1948.
Israel's birth as a nation will have happened in one day:
Fulfilled on May 14, 1948 as seen in Isaiah 66:8: "Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once?"
Israel will be in possession of Jerusalem (has been since 1967):
This happened as a result of the Six-Day War in 1967. The capture of Jerusalem was critical from a prophetic standpoint as the Antichrist will someday enter a rebuilt Holy Temple that will be standing in Jerusalem at the midpoint of the Tribulation Period where he will declare himself to be God. This event, referred to by most as the abomination of desolation, is documented in Daniel 9:27 and Matthew 24:15.
Israel will be surrounded on every side by enemies:
Psalms 83:4: They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.
The possession of Jerusalem will be the source of international conflict:
Is this happening today or what? It's a HUGE sign to us! Zechariah 12:3: And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.

Christians will be lukewarm in their faith:
In Christ's address to the seven churches, He says in Revelation 3:15: I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

There will be signs in the heavens:
Luke 21:25: And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

Many Christians and church doctrines will depart from the faith:
I Timothy 4:1: Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

Have you seen any of these signs in the world today? If so, I suggest you quickly enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ if you haven't already done so! He is coming soon!

A Word From James

James 5:7-12

If you've been praying for something and you haven't gotten it, you may think God doesn't want to give it to you. We have to learn the difference between "no" and "not yet".

Our problem is that we are in a hurry and God isn't!"

In advance, thank God because He's working things out. He gives the illustration of the farmer. When the farmer plants the seed, he's waiting for that seed. While he's waiting, God is working behind the scenes to cause that plant to sprout. He's creating the conditions so at the right time, in the right way there will be a harvest. The farmer waits, God works.
Philippians 2:13 "God is at work within you."
Romans 8:28 "we know that in all things, God is working."

What are you supposed to do while you wait?
Look at James’ three illustrations, and do what they did while you're waiting on God.

First the farmer. Wait expectantly. Expect a harvest. What does a farmer do while he's waiting on God? Sit and watch reruns on television all day? While he's waiting on the harvest, the farmer is preparing for a harvest.

Your preparation shows your expectation.

We get ready for the answer in advance. Psalm 130:5 "I wait expectantly, trusting God to help, for He has promised.". What are you waiting for from God?

The Bible says, According to your faith it will be done unto you.
How can you prove that you're expecting God to do something? Simple. What are you doing to get ready for it? If the answer came today, would you be ready?
Remember, your preparation reveals your expectation.

A lot of times when I'm waiting on God, He's really waiting on me. He was ready to give the answer a long time ago, but I wasn't ready to receive it. Sometimes He's saying, "Grow up! I want to bless your life but you can't handle the blessing yet. Get some spiritual muscle in your life and I'll bless you beyond what you can imagine." Waiting is a time to get ready.
Isaiah 49:23 "The Lord says ... No one who waits for my help will be disappointed."

Friday, June 13, 2008

East Coast Reflections

Don't Just Do Something, Stand There!

Some years ago a young man approached the foreman of a logging crew and asked for a job. "That depends," replied the foreman. "Let's see you fell this tree." The young man stepped forward and skilfully felled a great tree. Impressed, the foreman exclaimed, "Start Monday!"

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday rolled by, and Thursday afternoon the foreman approached the young man and said, "You can pick up your pay cheque on the way out today." Startled, he replied, "I thought you paid on Friday." "Normally we do," answered the foreman, "but we're letting you go today because you've fallen behind. Our daily felling charts show that you've dropped from first place on Monday to last on Wednesday." "But I'm a hard worker," the young man objected. "I arrive first, leave last, and even have worked through my coffee breaks!"

The foreman, sensing the boy's integrity, thought for a minute and then asked, "Have you been sharpening your axe?" The young man replied, "I've been working too hard to take the time."

How often do we work harder and harder spiritually only to find we are less and less fruitful. It time to hear the words, “Don’t just do something. Sit there and let the Lord minister to you.”

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


Stop praying, "God bless what I'm doing".
Don't pray that anymore.
Instead pray, "God, help me to do what You're blessing."

Help me do what You're blessing. I don't want my plans, I want Your plans in my life.

James 4:13-17 "Dealing With The Future"

We all want to know what's going to happen next. People try to forecast the future: tea leaves, fortune cookies, astrology, palm reading. We attend planning and goal setting conferences.

James says there are three mistakes that are commonly made that we should be aware of.

The first mistake is shown in v13 Now listen you who say, Today or Tomorrow. We will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.

What's wrong with this? People make plans every day.
The Bible talks a lot about planning. So what's wrong here?

James says the first common mistake we make is PLANNING WITHOUT GOD. There's not a single mention of God in this entire business plan. So James is not talking about what these guys did, it was what they forgot to do… “Include God!”

If you are a believer all your business is God's business.

What's the solution? v15 Instead, you ought to say, If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.

Right in the middle of the word LIFE is IF. Life is pretty if-fy. I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, you don't either.

Christians for hundreds of years used to write the initials D.V. at the end of their letters. They'd sign their name and then write D.V.. This stood for the Latin phrase "Deo Valente" -- "Lord willing". James says that ought to be our life response.

Proverbs 16:9 make plans, counting on God to direct you

The second mistake is PRESUMING ABOUT TOMORROW.
V14-16 Why you don't even know what’ll happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while, vanishes. You boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.

We shouldn't presume about the future because:
Life is unpredictable "you don't even know". None of us know what's going to happen tonight, much less next year.

One day life is a bowl of cherries, the next it's the pits.

Don’t be worried about tomorrow, let it cause you to trust God more, let it cause you to be more dependent on God.

Life is brief. you are a mist. Who knows how long we're going to live? None of us do. In describing your life the Bible uses phrases like a leaf, grass, shadow, cloud, puff of smoke, vapor. Life is short. It goes so fast from hot wheels to wheelchair.

Proverbs 27:1 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.

What's the solution? Matthew 6:34 So don't be anxious about tomorrow -- God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.

Live one day at a time, that's how God says to face the future. The future could be overwhelming but fortunately it comes in bite-size pieces, a 24-hour segment at a time. Plan for the future but, but live now. Life is what passes us by while we're planning something else.

Today is the Good Old Days you're going to talk about in 15 years. Enjoy the now. Make the most of your now.

"I may not know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future", and that's what counts. Psalm 35:15 Lord, my days are in your hands.

A third common mistake is PUTTING OFF DOING GOOD.
Anyone then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it sins. V17. James is talking about procrastination.

Ever meet somebody who is always "aiming to do it." I always want to say, "When are you going to pull the trigger?"

How do you define sin? We think of evil activities: murder, adultery, cheating, and stealing. Those are sins of commission. But there's another kind of sin - sins of omission. "To him who knows to do good and doesn't do it, it's sin."

I can do nothing and still sin. Christianity is far more than simply avoiding evil. It is about doing good.

The solution is “Do it now”. Proverbs 3:27-28 Don’t withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Don’t say to your neighbor, `Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow' - when you now have it with you."

If somebody comes to you and asks you a favor, if you can do it now, do it now.

You can do one of three things with your life: spend it, waste it, invest it.

Invest your life in things that will last—make it count. You know it doesn't matter how long you live if you're not doing anything with your life.

Remember the story that Jesus told about the talents? The master gave one talent to one man, five to another and ten to another. He left and came back years later. Two guys had doubled their money. The third man had taken his gold, buried it in the ground and did nothing with it. The master said, “At least you could have put it in a bank and got interest on it!” He said, "You wicked servant!" Why? What had he done? Nothing.
Doing nothing with your life is bad. Make your life count.

Jesus tells the story about a man who is very successful in life but he made a very foolish decision. He made all 3 mistakes James pointed out. He planned without God, presumed about tomorrow and put off doing good. Luke 12:16 The ground of a certain rich man produced abundant crops and thought, What shall I do. I’ve no place to store my crops. Then he said, this is what I'll do. I'll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. I will store all my grain and my goods and I will say to myself, `You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy. Eat, drink, be merry, but God said, You fool. This very night your life will be demanded from you, then who’ll get all that you have prepared for yourself.

This guy had "I" problems - all he could see was himself. The fact is, none of us have any certainty how long we're going to be here. Just consider that in your planning and do three things: plan with God; Don't presume on tomorrow, Make your life count!

You weren't created just to take up space. There is more to life than that. It starts when you give your life to Jesus, God's Son, and you commit yourself to Him. He becomes the manager of your life and He will direct you. Start by getting in tune with the Lord and establishing that relationship with Him.

If you only had a week left, how would you spend it?
What would you do with your husband, wife, children? God says, live each day and each week as if it were your last.